Jayant Sinha calls meeting lynching convicts ‘honouring due process’

The convicts went from the Hazaribagh jail, out on bail, to the Union Minister’s residence where he garlanded them.

Updated - July 07, 2018 07:10 pm IST

Published - July 07, 2018 02:44 pm IST - Patna

 Union Minister Jayant Sinha.

Union Minister Jayant Sinha.

In a series of tweets on Saturday Union Minister Jayant Sinha said that he was “honouring the due process of law” after a row erupted over him felicitating eight men who were earlier convicted for mob lynching.

The eight men were held guilty of killing a meat trader Alimuddin Ansari in the name of cow vigilantism in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand on June 30 last year.

Later, eight people, including a local BJP leader Nityanand Mahto, were arrested and convicted by a trial court in March this year. However, the life sentences of those held guilty were suspended by the Jharkhand high court last week.

On Tuesday, when those men came out of Hazaribagh jail on bail, they met Mr. Sinha at his residence where he garlanded them. Mr. Sinha represents Hazaribagh constituency in Parliament.

Later, a row erupted over Mr Sinha felicitating those eight men convicted for lynching a meat trader. “This is despicable,” tweeted leader of Opposition in Jharkhand assembly and JMM leader Hemant Soren.

Mr. Sinha on Saturday posted a series of tweets saying “though he condemned violence and rejected vigilantism he had misgivings about the trial of the men convicted by a fast-track court.”

“I unequivocally condemn all acts of violence and reject any type of vigilantism. The rule of law is supreme in our constitutional democracy. Any unlawful acts, particularly those that violate the rights of any citizen, should be punished with the full force of the law”, said Mr. Sinha.

He tweeted, “I have repeatedly expressed my misgivings about the Fast-Track Court judgment sentencing each accused to life imprisonment. I am pleased that the Hon'ble High Court will hear the matter as a statutory court of appeal to test the correctness of the Fast-Track Court order.”

He added, “I have full faith in our judicial system and the rule of law. Unfortunately, irresponsible statements are being made about my actions when all that I am doing is honoring the due process of law. Those that are innocent will be spared and the guilty will be appropriately punished.”

The BJP government in Jharkhand had ordered the police to quickly probe the case and sent it to a fast-track court. The court verdict came nine months after the incident.

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